Canadian Ukrainian

Canadian Ukrainian

language
name=Canadian Ukrainian
nativename=украї́нська мо́ва "ukrayins'ka mova"
states=Canada
regions=mostly the Prairie Provinces, especially in the historical Ukrainian Bloc Settlement
speakers=Canada 148,090 - 175,000
rank in Canada=12
familycolor=Indo-European
fam2=Balto-Slavic
fam3=Slavic
fam4=East Slavic
fam5=Ukrainian Dialects
iso1=uk|iso2=ukr|iso3=ukr

Canadian Ukrainian (Ukrainian: украї́нська мо́ва, "ukrayins'ka mova", IPA | [ukraˈjinsʲka ˈmɔva] ) is a variety (considered also as a dialect by some linguists) of the Ukrainian language specific to the Ukrainian Canadian community descended from the first two waves of historical Ukrainian emigration to Western Canada.

Canadian Ukrainian was widely spoken from the beginning of Ukrainian settlement in Canada in 1892 until the mid-20th century. Because Ukrainian Canadians are largely descended from emigrants from the Austro-Hungarian provinces of Galicia and Bukovina it is most similar to the dialects spoken in these areas, not in the Russian Empire- administered areas where Ukrainian was spoken. As such Canadian Ukrainian contains many more loanwords from Polish, German, and Romanian, and fewer from Russian, than does modern standard Ukrainian, which is mostly based on the dialect spoken in central Ukraine, particularly in the Cherkasy, Poltava and Kiev areas.

The first two waves of immigrants (1882—1914, 1918—1939) spoke the dialects of what is now western Ukraine, but they were cut off from their co-linguists by wars and social changes, and half the globe. Ukrainophones in Canada were also exposed to speakers of many other languages in Canada, especially English. As well, the mostly impoverished peasants were introduced to many new technologies and concepts, for which they had no words. Consequently Canadian Ukrainian began to develop in new directions from the language in the "Old Country".

Prior to the First World War the Anglo-Canadian authorities in many areas did allow some Ukrainian-language instruction in public schools, as minority language rights had been given a degree of protection early in the history of the West, during the Manitoba Schools Question. However, during the war era nativist attitudes came to the fore and all minority language rights were revoked. Speaking Ukrainian in school was expressly forbidden by Anglo-Canadian authorities for most of the mid-20th Century. Ukrainian would not again be spoken in Western Canadian public schools until policy of multiculturalism became official in the 1960s.

Economically, Ukrainian speakers in Canada tended to lag behind others because of the need for English in most fields of labour. Ukrainians also faced ridicule and intimidation from some in the majority community for not speaking English only, particularly if they moved outside the majority ethnic-Ukrainian rural Bloc Settlements. Those migrating to other rural areas or from the countryside to nearby cities such as Edmonton and Winnipeg were often quicker to lose their language. Ukrainian became associated with rural backwardness and went into decline.

In the present day, the number of speakers in Canada is still declining. Now, however, official policy is much more sympathetic. There are Ukrainian language schools, and Ukrainian is taught in public and Catholic elementary and high schools and Universities across Western Canada.

More recent Ukrainian immigrants to Canada, after the Second World War, generally do not speak Canadian Ukrainian.

Demographics

As of the Canada 2001 Census, 148,085 people in Canada claimed Ukrainian as their sole "mother tongue", the dialect was not specified.

While the largest Ukrainian speaking population resides in Ontario, there Ukrainophones are a small percentage of the population, whereas on the Prairies the percentage is much higher. Very few Ukrainian speakers live in Atlantic or Northern Canada.


Examples

Poem

This poem about the Canadian Red Ensign comes from a буквар ("bukvar", "basal reader") published in Winnipeg in 1925.

External links

* [http://www.ucc.ca/cu_relations/community_profile.htm UCC]

* [http://www.oseredok.org/ucec/sites/main.asp?P=887E2OSD21 oseredok]

* [http://collections.ic.gc.ca/ukrainian/dictionary.html Dictionary of Ukrainian Canadian] terms used in East-Central Alberta in the 1920s, compiled and used by the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village.


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